Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Hannah Carter, at age 90, in the Japanese garden that bears her name, accompanied by her eldest daughter, Hannah “Haydi” Sowerine. (Photo courtesy of the Caldwell family)
By RYOKO OHNISHI, Rafu Staff Writer
UCLA’s controversial sale of the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden was temporarily stopped after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa Hart Cole granted the donor family’s preliminary injunction on Friday at the Santa Monica Courthouse.
During the 70-minute hearing, Cole said that the selling of the property without notifying the heirs was “duplicitous.”
The family of Hannah Carter filed a lawsuit to stop the commercial sale of the garden permanently on May 4.
The outcome of the case will be determined in a trial that may take up to a year to be held. In anticipation of a possible trial, Cole required a representative of the heir family to post a $110,000 bond within 10 days, at which time the injunction will become effective.
The 1.5-acre garden and adjacent Western-style house are located on a hillside of the Bel Air area, at 10619 Bellagio Rd. near UCLA. The garden is considered the largest and most important private residential Japanese-style garden on the Pacific Coast. As the first major Japanese garden built in Southern California following World War II, it is significant symbolically as it signals a return of the appreciation of Japanese culture on the West Coast.


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